‘NO!’ is a word i hear a lot. My daughter uses it frequently and with great aplomb. It can start off a sentence. It can end a sentence. Hell, it can BE a sentence. It is usually accompanied with some vigorous head-shaking and oodles of self confidence. It basically plays a starring role in the movie that is her limited two-year old vocabulary. I’ll admit it, it isn’t always fun to be at the receiving end of it. It makes its appearance when i am begging her to eat her fruit, or trying to coerce her into her car-seat or perhaps trying to explain to her the pitfalls of jumping off her high-chair – yup, there it is – ‘NO!’
Little does she know that in a few years, oh how those tables are about to turn. I (secretly) cant wait to respond back to (most) of her teenage requests with a resounding “No!”. Oh yes sweet little one, i shall patiently wait for the day you come to me with your sleep-over requests and pizza-party plans and prom-dress ideas. Do you hear the sound of evil laughter and hands being rubbed gleefully against each other? Yes, i am plotting against my own flesh and blood. Yes, you may judge me now. No, i won’t be winning the ‘Mom-of-the-year’ award.
But there are also the other kind of “No!” that i hear. They are different, they are special. They successfully perk up my tired Mom-soul. But they are few and far-between, so you need to listen closely. Speaking from a dramatic standpoint, they aren’t as vociferous as the usual ‘No’. These are said with a whimper and a face which instantly melts even the coldest heart. Let me demonstrate with some examples. For instance, when somebody informs her that Mama needs to step out at her bedtime and she will have to sleep with Grandma tonight instead – No! When her Father asks her to play with him for half an hour so that Mama can have a much needed spa session (read: take a 20 minute hot shower) – No! When she refuses to turn in for the night, so i threaten her by saying Mama will go away to office if she doesn’t obediently go to sleep, right this moment – No! Mama please.
“No” – its a double edged sword. Go figure.